Previously on Devlin and Friends…
Devlin, Skaarah, Lee and the Doctor found themselves in a difficult position when their most recent contract under the employment of the Merciful Mercenaries ended less than ideally. Long story short an encounter with a beholder led to the death of several children and their dear friend the Doctor, who now lives due to the deal struck between Skaarah and her benevolent benefactor Erevan Illesere, who advised that the favour was to be repaid in kind…
Skaarah agreed, on behalf of her party, to travel to the Seelie Court of Queen Tatania to offer help as consorts of Corellon in returning King Oberon to his home at his Queen’s side. On arriving, the party were to locate a woman named Dahlia, who advised you of a prophecy sent by an unknown source which eerily seemed to refer to your travelling group.
To return what has been lost
Be prepared to pay the cost
Wait for four who come too soon
Hailing from the silver moon
Golden blood and devil’s eyes
Foes by birth but bound by lies
A risen man who’s out of place
An outcast girl who He will chase
Give them passage, give them time
And they will bring you what is mine.
Despite Erevan’s insistence that you not mention his involvement, Dahlia seemed to be aware of the ‘Copper Prince’s’ influence on the matter, and you became aware that there were perhaps aspects of Dahlia’s involvement that she was hiding that made her indebted to Skaarah’s benefactor.
Dahlia told you of a war that raged in the fey wild centuries ago and a treaty that was forged because of it. Corellon put an end to the fighting and sealed a treaty between the two parties, bound by a magical anchor… This treaty separated the courts, perhaps unfairly so. The Seelie Court remained in the Fey Wild whereas the Unseelie Court was banished to Pandemonium. The Treaty magically prevents members of the courts knowingly taking hostile action towards one another. Members of each court cannot enter the domain of the other without being granted entrance by one of the select few, Titania’s council and unknown members of the Unseelie Queen’s Court. Each of the Queen’s powers were partially bound by the Treaty and this caused much anger for both parties.
Dahlia advised that she would organise an audience with the queen but in the meantime you should enjoy the solstice festival occurring in the Court. You all had varying degrees of a good time. Devlin became ‘acquainted’ with the beautiful Moriana, assassin and advisor to the queen, Skaarah secured herself a bed for the night and Lee and the Doctor found themselves lost in the revelries.
During the evening Skaarah and Devlin took audience with Tatania and agreed to the deal that the Copper Prince sent them out to secure. The deal came with three clauses:
- You would go to the Unseelie Queen’s Court in Pandemonium, then locate and return Oberon.
- You would discover how the Unseelie Queen broke the treaty without breaking the treaty, and stop her using that loophole again.
- You would use your benefactor’s influence to achieve these goals if you were unable to do so yourself.
Devlin and Skaarah agreed and were marked to show their bond. The following morning you were all awoken and escorted by different members of Tatania’s council. Skaarah met Bracken, an abrupt and bookish human who seemed awfully out of place in the fey environment, who despite your prying you couldn’t quite figure out how he secured himself a place on the exclusive council of the fey queen.
Devlin was flown by his deadly bed mate to meet with his companions in the branches of Tatania’s palace and great willow tree. Once there you were gifted with four lunar pendants to Selune’s Infinite Staircase and told that you could find passage to Pandemonium… Ominously just told that the staircase had a way of knowing where you want to go. You embarked into the staircase with the slightest of guidance from your new ‘friend’ Moriana…
The staircase held a plethora of mysterious and horrors for your group, as you were forced to face pains from your past that you would have rather stayed there… The doctor was forced to face his love for guild leader Caelana, Lee encountered a long since dead friend, Terth, from her past… and decided to bring him along. Devlin was offered information on his infernal heritage and turned it down, and Skaarah similarly turned down the offer of a resurrected loved one… Their decisions made, some with more lasting consequences than others, they embarked into the depths of Pandemonium, defeating the corrupted sphinx Dephanthei and entering Auril’s Winter’s Delight, on the first level of Pandemonium, Pandesmos.
The Winter’s Delight was a world where freezing is the biggest understatement in recorded history and you had to trade things of great emotion in order to gather your warmth. During your exploration your new/old friend Terth was kidnapped by Jack, a servant of Auril herself, and taken to be the sacrifice in the games of winter’s solstice. You were offered the deal of entertaining the crowd to gain access to the River Styx. You won, you freed Terth and were introduced to Mortis the Ferryman who offered you passage to Cocytus, the second level… For the small price of one memory that you did not want to part with.
After heated debate, Terth offered a memory of his own as the price, asking Lee to simply tell him that it was related to ‘how he lost Ayden’.
After a gross trip down the River Styx you finally made it to Cocytus where you encountered the more traditional side of Pandemonium… The Winds of Madness. You were vaguely guided by Mortis to walk for 3 human hours until you reached the shattered castle of Cyric. You followed these instructions, encountering haunting illusions and echoes of madness along the way. During this time, Lee in particular became unsure of the groups actions up to this point. Paranoia and doubt started to set in, and although a remove curse spell lifted the magically imbued sides of this… Lee’s uncertainty continued the linger.
Upon arriving at the Shattered Castle you made a deal with a woman called Kaltain, who told you that if you disposed of the current master necromancer that she would teleport you to her dwelling within the Unseelie Court. You complied with her instructions but during the ensuing battle, Terth fell to a disintegrate spell wielded by Vulen.
In the aftermath, tensions were high. Skaarah, driven by guilt over her inability to protect Terth, spoke once again with Erevan and convinced him to somewhat restore Terth’s body, although empty of life… Lee seemed somewhat changed by the events within pandemonium, deciding it was time for her friend to die for good, as he was supposed to back on the staircase.
The group were teleported to Phlegathon as promised, and half rested in Kaltain’s home. Each member was visited in their dreams by the Queen of the Unseelie court that they now dwelled within… Each person conversed with the Queen, and came to varying levels of agreement. The majority of the group rejected her offerings, apart from your already sworn Aasimar friend Skaarah.
In exchange for a number of things, Skaarah swore her service to the Unseelie Queen in place of her bond for Erevan. The deal was as follows:
- Skaarah’s father and Terth would be brought back to life.
- The previous deals would be upheld, with Erevan, meaning that the doctor would stay alive, with Tatania, so their deal would be completed.
- Skaarah would not hurt her friends
- Erevan would not be able to feel her change of deity
- Skaarah doesn’t have to live in the Unseelie Court
- HOWEVER – She is to serve the Unseelie Queen, if she calls on her, she goes. And she will bring Erevan Illesere to the Unseelie Court.
Upon waking from a rest, tensions in the group rose as Lee wanted to correct her paradox and kill Terth whereas Skaarah wanted to protect him after selling her soul to do so. The Doctor sent a message to Erevan, concerned about what Skaarah may have agreed to in the dreams. Erevan showed up just in time to teleport Terth to the Material Plane in order to get him away from his suddenly homicidal best friend. Upon casting magic it appears Erevan activated some form of trap and was pulled into the Unseelie Queen’s palace… The group followed.
Facing down with the Queen of Air and Darkness, Oberon and Erevan themselves, the group discovered that the Queen loopholed the treaty via her illegitimate daughter, Nyelle, who was desperate to gain full ‘membership’ of the Unseelie Court, her not being accepted explaining how she wasn’t included in the treaty.
Things got messy. The party killed Nyelle at the orders of the Unseelie Queen, in victory the loophole would be solved, in failure Nyelle would join the Unseelie Court and now be unable to act against the Seelie Court. The party were victorious.
It was then revealed that the Unseelie Queen wanted to cast a ritual to stop Ashrynn being the anchor of Tatania’s powers and transfer the spell to Erevan, making the anchor much more difficult to kill. This ritual was thwarted as the Doctor succeeded on a very impressive persuasion check to convince Erevan and Oberon to let him banish them… This being a pretty intense infraction against the Unseelie Queen you were confused as to why she let you leave her court until Skaarah remembered the wording of her deal… “The Doctor lives.”
Returning to the Summer Court, you were welcomed with open arms and Oberon insisted on celebrating… Upon celebrating you all drank some delicious wine which knocked the entire council except from Bracken unconscious and Oberon suddenly turned into a huge demon that tried to kill Bracken. The demon failed in its effort, but you realised that Unseelie Queen had let you leave to ensure the return of a possessed Oberon to try kill Bracken (her anchor) and release her powers.
The group said their farewells to the council and traveled back to the Material Plane, leaving the burning question unanswered – Who on the Council betrayed the Summer Court and granted Nyelle access?
Returning to Silverymoon, the party realised that a lot had changed in their 13 months absence (fey-wild time fuckery yo). The Guild had been attacked by unhappy investors of the Scarlett Heart from a previous mercenary job Devlin was involved with, and the numbers of the Guild were severely reduced. Caelana was apparently going out of her mind with stress but was overwhelmed by the Doctor’s return, even more so when he proposed and she said yes.
Lee and Terth talked through their tensions and found strength in their friendship again. Terth confided that he had done some research since being at the Guild, and in this word… Ayden is alive.
The group thought their adventuring was at an end for a while when Cerulea received a letter from the mysterious “Collector” requesting her presence at the Caile Numenore Ball in Waterdeep – making our socially anxious friend deeply uncomfortable.
The group travelled to Waterdeep and completed a mercenary job on the way with fellow Guild member Cue. During the journey back, they were attacked by three druids, only one survived and was questioned. Kali told you that they had been sent as members of the Arn’ess Clan led by Storm Maiden Daestina, a woman who never shows her true face.
Upon return the group picked up Terth and began preparations for the Ball. The Doctor did some digging and found out the history of the Arn’ess Clan as well as some information on the Storm Maiden. Using a lucky locate creature the Doctor also discovered that the Storm Maiden was, at least momentarily, dwelling at the Bashford Estate where the Ball would take place.
The group attended the ball in all their finery and were put on edge when upon entering encountered what was apparently Lord Bashford’s newest invention, what is known as mechas, metallic humanoid creations that are magically animated and serve the Bashfords – dozens acting as staff for the ball.
Lee kind of kept to herself, awaiting a meeting with Lord Bashford who the group believed to be The Collector. Terth had some reunions with family and ex-fiances. Devlin had a lovely date with Moriana and won a lot of money and other things.
When the call to meet with Bashford came the Doctor cast Truesight and was able to see the Storm Maiden, Rosalind Bashford, observing the exchange with her husband. Lord Bashford explained that Lee has hidden knowledge inside her mind that when combined with the knowledge of three other genasi will lead them to the lost treasure known as the Obleta Shekrin. The Doctor noticed that Rosalind seemed to be controlling Lord Bashford and cast dispel magic on his wedding ring, breaking the control. With this, the Storm Maiden teleported away and you were left with a lot of questions and a very confused Lord Bashford.
The Mechas surrounding you advised that the Storm Maiden would see the Doctor tonight, in his dreams…